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Saving energy while keeping sensitive equipment at an adequate and constant temperature are two of the greatest challenges for data centers. Efficient and effective ventilation and air conditioning systems are critical to avoiding heat-related issues, including shutdowns and data loss. On average as much as 50 percent of all power used in a data center is spent on cooling technologies, and data centers account for one percent of the world’s electricity consumption and 0.5 percent of CO2 emissions.
Reducing energy consumption and negative environmental impact have become key concerns for data centers, and one way these goals can be realized is by implementing better control of motors in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) applications. By running a motor on a variable speed drive partial load and speeds can be optimized for certain operating conditions.
A variable speed drive controls the speed and torque of electric motors, saving energy and extending equipment life, yet they also induce shaft currents inside the motors, which discharge through the bearings, potentially causing damage and eventually bearing failure. There are ways to mitigate shaft currents with carbon brushes and bearing protection rings, but these components wear out and become less effective over time.
To avoid any possible bearing failure, ABB’s Baldor-Reliance® Critical Cooling motors incorporate double-sealed hybrid ceramic bearings – where the ball cage is made from stainless steel, while the balls are ceramic – which are guaranteed not to fail. In fact, ABB offers a lifetime warranty against bearing failure from shaft currents on all Critical Cooling motors. ABB’s Critical Cooling motors are IE5+ certified, which is the highest level of motor efficiency currently available.